We are observing an increasing number of social and industrial applications where the flow of data and information grows at an exponential rate, which generates databases of sizes that exceeds traditional media. In just one day, Google must process more than 20000 terabytes of information while NASA generates more than 2 gigabytes of information every 5 minutes. The storage, processing and analysis of this information is not a simple task, since it is physically impossible to process large amounts of data over the same computing instance (due to storage, temporary memory and processing restrictions). However, a solution to this problem consists in the use of distributed applications, applications that run in different physical instances linked through a network.
There are a number of technological applications that assist with big data processing. Apache Hadoop is one of them. However, many people are stuck when it comes to using Hadoop for data mining and analysis.
Overview of Hadoop as a Big Data Mining and Analysis Toolkit
Apache Hadoop is a framework that supports applications distributed under a free license and is inspired by Google documents on MapReduce and Google File System. It is used by Yahoo, Facebook, Linkedin, Ebay, among others, because it allows the quick search of words in large text strings, sort lists and multiply large matrices (among many other applications).
How do you use Hadoop?
The problems that can be addressed with the Hadoop framework must be able to be broken down into two tasks that Hadoop interprets: mapping and reducing. You need to know how to utilize them before you can get the most of this program.
To understand this concept, one can think of the problem of a population census. The methodology consists of dividing the census into cities where you have people counting the population and sending the results to a central place where the results are finally reduced to a total count. This scheme of sending (mapping) people parallel to cities and then centralizing and reducing (reducing) them is what Google generalizes and calls MapReduce.
The problems that can be addressed with the Hadoop framework must be able to be broken down into two tasks that Hadoop interprets: mapping and reducing.
A specific problem can be worked with Hadoop if it allows to clearly define the roles of mapping and reducing. The Hadoop framework is in charge of distributing memory and communication between the different instances created in parallel of the mapping and reducing functions.
This article presents a basic example of word count in a long document using Hadoop. Normally a document with a size of hundreds of gigabytes is impossible to process with a computation instance and it is there where you see the need to process the document with tools such as Hadoop. For this, we must identify how it should be mapped and how it should be reduced. In general terms what will be done is to take the text and divide it into appropriate lines. The Mapper function receives some of these lines and reports the words in that line. The Reducer function gathers the words reported by Mapper to count them. Here is how to implement such a mechanism. The example was developed on linux, although Hadoop is multiplatform and is supported by the best known operating systems.
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